This tag is associated with 79 posts

Is democracy in practice reaching its limits?

By Ooi Kee Beng For The Edge Malaysia | July 7, 2015 I have always enjoyed the story — almost certainly a false and libellous one, but that does not matter here — about the tragic French Queen Marie Antoinette watching in consternation from a palace window as rebels rioted on the streets of Paris … Continue reading

Multi-tiered governments are unavoidable

For THE EDGE Malaysia, May 31-June 6 2015 (titled “Democracy is Necessarily Multi-tiered” By OOI KEE BENG It is time we pay careful attention to the essential multi-tieredness of democracy. Democracy is in essence much more than simply the electing of a central government. It is about electing representatives at different levels in order to … Continue reading

The Unity Fetish

Cover Story for Penang Monthly, February 2015 By OOI KEE BENG fe•tish noun \ˈfe-tish also ˈfē-\ : a strong and unusual need or desire for something : a need or desire for an object, body part or activity for sexual excitement : an object that is believed to have magical powers Standfirst: Building a nation … Continue reading

The More Individual Stories We Acknowledge, the More Authentic Our National History

PENANG MONTHLY, Feature Story February 2015 by Ooi Kee Beng Cultures are defined by their literature. In fact, in Chinese – classical or modern – the same term is used for both. What this tells us is that a country’s self-consciousness is vibrant and alive only if writing is strongly encouraged among its population. See … Continue reading

One Must Embrace English to Master It

By Ooi Kee Beng, for THE EDGE Malaysia, 21 December 2014 There is no doubt that the standard of English in Malaysia has fallen badly over the last few decades. And this is true for all Malaysian communities, even the Eurasians. It is a generational phenomenon made all the poignant because Malaysians started out having … Continue reading

Political Populism, Public Opinions and Prime Ministers

By Ooi Kee Beng For The Edge, Kuala Lumpur, September 29, 2014 It is indeed a heavy sign of the times that more and more ex-leaders are adopting the Internet as the preferred avenue for publicising their views. And why should they not? The arrival of the World Wide Web and all the fast-evolving social … Continue reading

Is the Nation’s Essential Multiracialism in Grave Danger?

By Ooi Kee Beng For THE EDGE, Kuala Lumpur, 25 August 2014 Multiracialism does not come by chance. It is always an expression of the populated territory’s geopolitical history. We imagine societies to be essentially mono-cultural and mono-religious. That may be true of some regions in the world, but in regions such as Southeast Asia, … Continue reading

Let’s Work Out What Malaysia is Good For

By Ooi Kee Beng For THE EDGE Malaysia, 30 July 2014 A wave of pessimism and dejection has been pervading Malaysia for quite a long time now. Exactly when it started is hard to say, but what has been obvious is that whatever potential lines of division that can be found in the diversity that … Continue reading

Unwise for Singapore and Malaysia to Have Bad Ties in the Future

By Ooi Kee Beng For Commentary, The National University of Singapore Society (NUSS). Volume 23, 2014. IF ONE DOES NOT go back too far, one could divide relations between Singapore and Malaysia into the Mahathir period and the Post-Mahathir period. Malaysia’s long-term Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed retired on 30 October 2003, after 22 … Continue reading

Malaysia in More Middling Traps Than Meets the Eye

By OOI KEE BENG For The Edge, Malaysia, May 25, 2014 What seems to have happened in Malaysian politics since 2008 is that we have a voter population that is divided right down the middle, and given the nature of the game, this situation is expected to remain for quite a while. We have a … Continue reading